Trend commentator Polad Hamidov
Renewal of military cooperation between Russia and NATO froze next conflicts in Caucasus, including Georgian-Abkhazian and Georgian-Ossetian. Intensive relations of the Alliance with the Russian Federation lasting almost 10 months from August events of 2008 were the only factor promoting urgency of conflicts geopolitically.
It is impossible to indicate another similar world region with such a number of frozen conflicts, including Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh, Georgian-Ossetian and Georgian-Abkhazian conflicts.
First, NATO resumed military cooperation with Russia because of changed attitude of White House new administration towards the Russian Federation that did not continue radical policy of U.S ex-president.
Second, North Atlantic Alliance headed by the USA made this action in response for Russia's concessions regarding U.S presence in the territory of the Russian Federation's geopolitical influence sphere in Central Asia - Manas airbase.
So, the USA signed the agreement on transit transportation center with Kyrgyz leadership. The USA legally explained their presence in the territory in Manas airport. It demonstrates how important victory in military campaign in Afghanistan for the USA because Manas airport is the most convenient place for delivery of freights to support Alliance's military forces in fight with Talibs.
The USA refused from their positions in Central Asia. But the Russian Federations' foreign ministry and the president calmly reacted to this agreement on Manas and even supported it. It meant that responsive concessions from the USA must appear. They appeared soon.
North Atlantic alliance resumed military cooperation with Russia. "Differences on Georgia between the Russian Federation and NATO are preserved. But they must not be obstacle in relations between Russia and the Alliance," NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer as a result of council's meeting Russia-NATO held in Greek island Corfu.
All sides remained pleased except for ruling elite in Georgia. Current Kyrgyz president Kurmanbek Bakiyev won in this geopolitical game.
First, president Bakiyev promised the Russian Federation's leadership to close air base in Manas in February. He ensured himself support of super power and stability inside the country. Bakiyev got from Russia financial aid to support this decision. Financial included preferential loans exceeding $2 billion suitable for economy of the country in terms of world financial crisis.
Second, current Kyrgyz president signed profitable agreement by increasing rent fee of Manas air base three times. If earlier sum of rent hit $17.4 million per year, it increased 60 million. Moreover, Washington allocated $36.6 million for construction of platforms for U.S planes, as well as over 30 million to improve navigation system.
Third, presence of U.S military contingent in the country provides balance of forces and bearing point for ruling elite of Kyrgyzstan. It is no wonder that as soon as issue concerning alternative of Manas was raised, almost all Central Asian countries suggested its territory for U.S military base.
Finally, Kyrgyzstan became equitable partner in antiterrorist operation in Afghanistan. It is possible to say that Kurmanbek Bakiyev ensured victory at upcoming presidential elections to be held On July 23 in the country.
Russia stirs up its policy in Caucasus rapidly. Visits of Caucasian countries leaders (except Georgia) to Russia become more frequent. Major topics of talks include Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, as well as geopolitical interests of Russia and energy project disturbing EU.
It can be summarized the following way. The USA easily treats strengthening impact of Russia in Caucasus amid military campaign stirring up against Talibs and on the threshold of presidential elections in Afghanistan. Major task for the USA is victory in Afghanistan that will allow strengthen reputation of super power.
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Ice age in Caucasus
Trend commentator Polad Hamidov